The Burden of Guilt: Heavy Backpacks, Light Snacks, and Enhanced Morality

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The Burden of Guilt: Heavy Backpacks, Light Snacks, and Enhanced Morality

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Title: The Burden of Guilt: Heavy Backpacks, Light Snacks, and Enhanced Morality
Author: Kouchaki, Maryam; Gino, Francesca; Jami, Ata

Note: Order does not necessarily reflect citation order of authors.

Citation: Kouchaki, M., F. Gino, M. and A. Jami. "The Burden of Guilt: Heavy Backpacks, Light Snacks, and Enhanced Morality." Journal of Experimental Psychology: General (forthcoming).
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Abstract: Drawing on the embodied simulation account of emotional information processing, we argue that the physical experience of weight is associated with the emotional experience of guilt and thus that weight intensifies the experience of guilt. Across four studies, we found that participants who wore a heavy backpack experienced higher levels of guilt as compared to those who wore a light backpack. Additionally, wearing a heavy backpack affected participants' behavior. Specifically, it led them to be more likely to choose healthy snacks over guilt-inducing ones and boring tasks over fun ones. It also led participants to cheat less. Importantly, self-reported guilt mediated the effect of wearing a heavy backpack on these behaviors. Our studies also examined the mechanism behind these effects and demonstrated that participants processed guilty stimuli more fluently when experiencing physical weight.
Other Sources: http://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/xge/index.aspx
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Open Access Policy Articles, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#OAP
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:11006811
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